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Thousands of jobs lost

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

STATEWIDE Troubles in the economy continue to result in Oregon job losses, with the residential construction sector leading the way, says Oregon state employment economist Art Ayre.

The state shed 6,800 construction jobs in the past year, and it’s had a ripple effect,  Ayre says. The financial services sector, heavily tied to real estate, has axed 2,700 jobs since this time last year, wood products manufacturing has lost about 2,000 jobs, and manufacturing is down 6,500 jobs.

As of April, the state’s unemployment rate was 5.5%, down 0.2% from March. Other notable job losses in the state: Monaco Coach Corp., the Coburg-based maker of recreational vehicles, in April said it would cut 600 jobs, half of them in Oregon; Daimler Trucks North America has announced it would move 118 jobs out of the state in June; and Nationwide Insurance says it plans to cut 240 Oregon jobs.

April shows that the outlook might be stabilizing, says Ayre. “The bias is on the downside,” he says. “We could have a month slightly up or slightly down.”

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